Tuesday, June 10, 2014

It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp – New Rules Making Life Tough All Over






Just when you thought things had settled down into a nice rhythm, rules – rules – rules.  It was only a few years ago that the USTA unleashed their MASS BUMP on the tennis world.  I didn’t go back and research the percentages but I recall that 3.5 to 4.0 was the biggest group and I believe it was over 30%.  It took a couple of years to get adjusted to that shift, with players who should have never been bumped up finding themselves at a loss.  Now it seems we have hit an equilibrium of sorts, with all levels probably having dropped down 0.25 from the pre-mass bump world.

So obviously it’s time to make a bunch of rules changes and stir the pot up once again.  But while the mass bump was an across the board change, the new rules seem to me to be a combination of ‘everybody gets a ribbon’ and ‘let’s shift more burden onto the captains’.  Not to say that I disagree with all of them, but it’s just getting harder and harder to be a pimp.

New Nationals bump up rule – This was conceived at the national level based on complaints that mixed teams were able to have too many players who had gone to nationals at other events.  Basically, some captains were creating all-star teams with 3.5, 4.0 & 4.5 men and women who had all been to nationals on their respective 18s teams.  My only question is why wasn’t everyone doing that if they could.  After circulation to the sections for comment, nationals unilaterally decided to apply it to EVERYTHING and several sections aren’t happy about it.  This makes life very difficult for captains who now need to police 18s, 40s, 55s, men’s, mixed and everything else you can thing of at your level and one above/below to make sure you don’t have over three players that went to nationals at ANY level in ANY event.  What a needless beat down.  If you need it for mixed, ok, but applying it to everything is going overboard.  When players get booted for playing up but a different age division is ludicrous.

If your rating expires you can’t come back in lower than where you left – not as new but not very well understood and very difficult to administer.  If someone’s rating went to 0.0 how exactly can a captain tell what his old rating was?  Some are pretty obvious but it’s a compliance nightmare.  Maybe he didn’t get bumped up, maybe he got down, maybe he appealed, who knows?

If you’re playing in the playoffs in Dallas, better stay in Dallas – this is strictly a DTA rule, as Fort Worth doesn’t apply this to their leagues or players.  In the past, if you were on a Dallas and a FW team it was no big deal.  If both made the playoffs it still wasn’t a big deal, you picked one team to join in the playoffs and you were there until it was eliminated.  Same goes for playing 4.0 and 4.5 at the same time.  If both made the playoffs, pick one and stay with it.  So now we need a new DTA form that requires you to designate a team before you have any idea how good a team is going to be or what you might want to do.  These were due about the time the season started.  And if you didn’t turn them in the DTA defaulted you onto one of them.  Just another headache for captains to keep up with.  Maybe if you required them a few weeks before the playoffs, ok, but it’s a lot of paper to push and players to keep up with for teams who may not make the playoffs anyway. 

40 and Over League – this was a good idea and seems to have worked well, although the DTA shot themselves in the foot last year leaving the women with a November start but moving the men to a January start.  The move doesn’t irk me as much as the reason.  This was supposed to make scheduling easier, then we get a season where 40s cities end and men’s 18s start the next weekend – not ideal.  Or was it the ‘Austin wanted us to do it because they don’t like Early Start Rating leagues’.  Of course Austin itself didn’t change their league dates and still has an ESR league so I’m a little suspicious there.  On the whole though, this has been well received, the competition has been good, and Dallas has done well.  Old guy singles may not be tv worthy but some of those guys do know how to play doubles.

Added ‘Head-to-Head’ as a new tie-breaker – shocking that this was never a part of the tie-breaker equation before.

Not much we can do about any of this but grin and bear it, but let’s at least hope the DTA doesn’t get on a rules happy tear.  Yes, it’s hard out here for a pimp.

Finally, I want to congratulate the first nominees for the end of the year Pimp awards.  At 7.0 Mixed, Rene Alzuro makes his first trip to the Playa's ball.  The Wagon Wheel Madame, Krista Carlson gets to return to the Playa's ball.  Dallas went two for three in geezer mixed sectionals with Canyon Creek being very close.   

66 comments:

  1. Only comment I have right now is regarding the infamous DTA Form. I am on both Ft. Worth and Dallas teams, so I called the TX Section and the DTA about this form. The form is only for intracity teams, and was mainly developed because the Ladies can play on a 4.0 Thursday and a 4.0 Saturday team. If they both make it to cities, the ladies were having to select the 4.0 team to play on, and the DTA wanted to make it to where the captains knew who they had come playoffs. Problem with the form is there really was not a good explanation in their rules, so I had to spend about an hour trying to find out what the extent of the form was.

    The inter-city rule for Dallas is the same as it always has been. If you play on your Dallas team in playoffs and they make it to the next championship level, then you have to play on your Dallas team. Ft. Worth has the same rule now as well. I think this has been the same for quite some time.

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    1. The problem isn't the rule, or even the form, it's the DTA requiring it at the beginning of the season. And then defaulting you onto a team if you didn't send it in on time. A captain may not even know one of their players is joining another team. If the form wasn't required until the end of the season most players and captains would never even have to worry about it. This would be easy for the DTA to fix if they cared.

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  2. You can thank Kelley for the national "3 on a team rule". His mixed team has virtually dominated for years. Rather than change it for everyone else why not say after he goes to nationals time after time he must sit out 2 years. That way everyone else gets a shot. Gee, thanks Mike for ruining things again!

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    1. Fair point but I don't think this rule was about HIM. The sectionals rep who explained it said it was about teams loading up on players who had been to nationals. Not really the case on Alan's teams. The SP teams really succeeded with guys who stayed down and self rate girls.

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    2. Gets your facts straight, he had no self rate ladies on the 40 and over national team and only ONE on the 18 and over national team. Research before you blog.

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    3. Kelley has NEVER played w a sef rate. Actually Springpark had only one self rate period. The other national teams were loaded w them. That makes what Alan A has done even more impressive. Thanks for bringing that up.

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    4. Be careful how self righteous you get on this point, they got some self rates rated incorrectly and then they played the full season as computer rates.

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  3. Agree w 10:46 poster. Kelley been to nationals at 18 over mixed, mixed 40 over, trilevel, men's 4.5 and 9.0 mixed 18 and over. WHEN will he be banned for a year instead of all these unfair forms and bs you have to go thru to play on a freakin league team. This guy should be kicked out of league!

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  4. It also doesn't make sense that the three players from a nationals team rule applies to all players associated with that team. It a lot of cases that player may not have played a match at city championships, sectionals, or nationals, and yet they are considered in the team eligibility criteria. Seems to me that in order to be considered a nationals player, you should have at least played in one match outside of the regular season.

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    1. It even applies if you never played a match but you are listed as having received a default during the season.

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  5. Not only should it apply to going to nationals but NOT GOING to nationals. Kelley snubbed his nose at 40 and over nationals this year by not going to Hawaii which left one less team at nationals that could have been filled . That too should be means for a suspension as well.

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  6. The DTA finally had enough sense to use Head-to-Head as a league tiebreaker? Let me guess, they weren't smart enough to make it the first tiebreaker.

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    1. It was a national rule so, no, I guess the DTA wasn't smart enough

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    2. DTA and smart should never be used in the same sentence unless there is a negative to make the statement accurate.

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  7. Congratulations to Krista and Rene. She's done very well captaining over the years, wish I was good enough to play on one of her teams. Don't know what to say about Rene, must have been lead all the way to the winner's circle. Good going, represent Texas well. Too bad Alan took the year off or Dallas could have swept.

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    1. Looking at his roster, there are a few people that would know how to get it done.

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    2. Probably true, I wonder if they told him what was going on or he just woke up one day with a sectionals title.

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    3. KC all the way! Check out 3.5 self-rate Terry Coffman. Interesting how his doubles partner goes 4-0 and is DQ'd but he has over 20 wins and has not been DQ'd. How does that happen?

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    4. Looks like Coffman had 7 matches in 40s and 2 losses before his partner played his first match. So Coffman probably had a pretty well established rating when his spring partner had nothing. Mixed wins don't count in your rating unless you only play mixed.

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  8. Head to Head has always been a TB. It just moved up the chain. It used to be like the fifth and now it is after lines. Lines are still the best measure. If you are tied because just own week you had a lot of guys out of town is harsh. Also, lines won is an incentive not yo throw matches.

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    1. Makes sense as long as you lose head to head.

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  9. Le's 4.0 lineup is taking shape for 2015. You just have to check this year's 4.5 results to find it. Line 2 doubles is Le/DeLePaz and line 3 doubles is Newman/Voss. The rest of the top eight will have to be self rates.

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    1. Looks like Tony Le may finally have what he needs to get to nationals. I would say not without cheating but has anyone ever got to nationals without some chicanery?

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    2. I'm rooting for Tony. Good to see someone in Dallas trying to mount a fight at 4.0. After his experience at 4.0 sectionals last time it will be interesting to see if he bogs his roster down with flight play guys again. He had some nice players for Dallas for it takes more than that at sectionals.

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    3. That team really looked pretty good going into sectionals. When it was done he maybe had four guys that he needed to take and add to. Probably Weyemer, Kinson, Glasgow and Newman. And that's from a 19 person roster.

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    4. Be fair, that was probably Freeman's best team ever. He still got throttled at nationals.

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    5. If Freeman got throttled at nationals with that team, pretty reasonable to assume he's going to come back next time with more? If so, Tony will need a lot better than he had last time.

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  10. That was not Freeman's best team. The team from 2011 was his best that beat the Somabut team in the SF's and the Arcaria team in the Finals.

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    1. As az Houston guy, Freeman's 2011 team had suspect doubles. His singles were top notch. Rios was extremely tough.

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    2. I'd have to agree. Last year's team was better, they just ran into the national champions in flight play. They were the only the only team at nationals to take 2 lines off of the winners.

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    3. Rossi was better than Rios.

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    4. We've been reduced to arguing which Freeman team kicked our ass worse?

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  11. Doesn't matter. Tony Le wil have more. You should be scared of the ones you don't know about.

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    1. Good, because I'm sure not scared of the ones I do know about. Hopefully Tony has learned from last year. If you listen to the rumor mill that team will be 40 players deep and 35 of them will be baggage.

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    2. Tony Le's number 35 beats Freeman's top 4.

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  12. What is everyone's match of the week?

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    1. All the Sunday leagues have a bye for Father's Day. In 4.5 - A two of the three contenders have relatively easy matches and the other has a bye. Flight B has a three way tie but two of those three playing - GH v Lakes. Flight C has BH v LBH in a T1 v T3 matchup.
      MOW has to go to Rossouw's bunch verses Lakes. It's an elimination time for someone.

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    2. Tony Le's team has two matches left. Shyh-Chin Lee only has one match this season so he will play and lose bad.

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    3. Shyh-Chin had the expected result. Nice work. Also, Arcaria and Alarid mailed it in too. Go ahead and say it was just for fun and Andy hasn't been playing.

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    4. Quality work if a little predictable. I give it three stars

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  13. A Russouw captained team loses again in a playoff match. Not much has changed.

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  14. It's Joel's BAR B Q now and it sure tastes good!!!!

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  15. Rossouw's team lost more than once this weekend at FW city playoffs. They even lost to an actual Fort Worth team???

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  16. That means about 50 Dallas players will be sitting home for sectionals.

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    1. We can still win a Dallas

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  17. Russouw just just try to get Pickett team dq'd!!! Lol. Russouw will never win anything unless Joel retire from tennis altogether. I hope all 30 ft worth players he convinced to play now realize he is a joke. Ha

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  18. Yep. Maybe he will convince 30 more to play out of east Texas. Those desperate few that played for him prob will rethink for fall, unless he threatens to get them bumped unless they stay. Pretty funny to see yet another failed attempt. Give it up.

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    1. Abilene is not that long of a drive, and usually if you win your flight, you go straight to sectionals.

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    2. True. He should move out there and give it a shot. He can single handedly screw that city up as well.

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    3. He needs help from the DTA to see what he can get done to win cities. They should allow the team w the most players an automatic spot in sectionals.

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    4. I like that idea. Why not send them straight to nationals? USTA makes money and greatly simplifies the season.

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  19. We were giving up ft worth to win Dallas.

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    1. You had me at giving up

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  20. Congrats to Pickett and his team. Quality beats quantity every time. Pickett is the Popovixh of league tennis. And on top of that only playin one league to do so.... Class act.

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    1. And he doesn't have Kelley

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  21. Great point, can you imagine the team he would have basically starting every match up 1-0. He may not need him this year as he has a great bunch of players. Singles will be the key to his run in sectionals and nationals. Last time he captained he won a national title. This time?

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    1. No doubt about it. Pickett is a tactical genius. He is the Patton of USTA tennis. Patton believed in reincarnation. Pickett is the reincarnation of Patton?

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  22. As long as Pickett has an interest in winning a league, Russouw will fail. Simply put.

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  23. https://www.facebook.com/events/461010657335159/

    Should be some fun tennis at Courts of Mckinney at 7p this Friday, who know maybe a Mike Kelley sighting???

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    1. Only if he is signing autographs.

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    2. What the heck is Friday at 7???

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    3. Texas Wild Mixer....they are having them all over the DFW area. McKinney is this weekend.

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  24. Unless you are living under a rock Kelley is not playing much this year. Seen him numerous times at la fitness training w a guy for a triathlon in California in november 2014. Let him try and tank the swimming portion of that... Ha ha. Hope he doesn't even finish.

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  25. He will not be worth having as a 4.5 anymore. Unless he practices and plays a lot he is less than average. Looked like he is 10-15 lbs heavier upper body and when he can't move around the court he would lose to a quicker younger player any day. Kelley is finished, good riddance!

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  26. He has regressed so much Joel didn't even want him to play. Wow.

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